Belarus: Lavon Volski

Freemuse interview with musician Lavon Volski, guitarist and vocalist of the group KrambambulyaInterview by Ingo Petz. Filmed and edited by Matvei Saburov


The Belarusian singer and musician Lavon Volski gave an exclusive interview to Freemuse about the current repressions of the Belarusian regime against the independent music scene in the country which since 1994 has been governed by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Lavon Volski, born 1965, is an icon of Belarusian rock music. His songs are anthems of the opposition movement. He founded bands as Mroya, N.R.M. and Zet which all made a huge impact on the development of a Belarusian-speaking rock music.

Volski’s current project is called Krambambulya. It was founded in 2001. The group plays a sweaty mixture of punk and rock with folkloristic elements. The lyrics are funny and ironic. They tell stories about drinking and dancing. They even founded an imaginary country called Krambambuland which promotes the freedom of expression.

The manifest of Krambambuland says:
“There’s a country, a country no one knows, somewhere between Warsaw and Moscow, a country where the rivers – so they say – flow with milk and honey,
where the Sun shines, every day, all year, and the Sun gently strokes the rich broad meadows and golden fields of wheat with its warm rays, and brings a sparkle to the waters of the lakes.
A country where the capital city is the radiant Sun City of dreams.
A country where the tractors and combines are as big as spaceships,
where the vodka is as clear as the purest spring water…”

Under the current regime in Belarus, Krambambulya is blacklisted – like many other bands and artists. They cannot perfom in their own country. At the end of April 2012, Krambambulya organised three exile concerts in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, supported by Freemuse. The concerts were visited by thousands of Belarusians who obtained free EU-visas from the Lithuanian government.

Ingo Petz’s report from the concerts in Vilnius




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